How do I get an allotment and how long do I have to wait?
Ashford Borough Council is the largest single provider of allotments in the Ashford Borough area, although there are village sites and some community sites run by associations which have leased or otherwise acquired land for allotments. Ashford’s Local Plan also requires that housing developments over a certain size also provide and equip allotments. Details of these other allotments providers will be progressively added to this site.
There was a time when there were a lot of vacant allotments in the Ashford area. Those days are long gone. There are often many people on the waiting list for an allotment, however, some sites have more plots than others, so by choosing a site which is under less pressure (even though it might be further from where you live) you may be able to get an allotment quicker. Got to the Ashford Borough Council website to join the waiting list.
However, plots do come up more quickly than you might fear. Why is that?
First, some people try it for a bit then give up quite quickly, while others drop off the waiting list or change their minds when a plot is offered. This speeds things up.
You’ll find some plots have been divided up to create smaller plots better suited to modern living. They may be smaller than those tended by previous generations, some of whom were growing food as part of the war effort, but they’re still plenty big enough for most people to grow a decent amount of product around their 21st-century lifestyles.
Allotment rent is paid in advance each Autumn. You pay by area. Pensioners and those on means-tested benefit get a concessionary rate on the first 5 rod (the standard amount rented out these days to beginners) but pay full price for any land over and above this.
Plots are measured by the rod, an old-fashioned measure of land traditionally still used for allotments. 1 rod is approximately 25 square metres.
Visit the Council’s allotment pages with information on how to request a plot.
At present, you can ask to be put on the waiting list for one particular site, or for any sites. The more options you list, the better chance you have of getting an allotment quickly. However, if you are offered a plot on a particular site you’ve asked for, you really must be ready to take it, so think before you fill the form in.
Once you’ve been offered an allotment you should decide quickly whether to accept it or not.
If you delay too long you will lose it anyway, and it may be offered to someone else.
Once you take the plot on, you should do as much as you can to get it ‘under cultivation’ as soon as possible. This can be difficult in dry summer weather, but you should definitely get on the plot and tidy and clear, even if you can’t dig.
Upon taking a plot, you will be issued with a copy of the rules for usage and upkeep of your plot.
The style with which you garden your plot won’t be dictated to you. In fact, Ashford’s allotments are home to growers of all ages and from countless different backgrounds. (Getting to know your neighbouring plot holders and observing the many different ways people cultivate their allotment is one of the best ways to learn about growing produce).
However, all plot holders do need to ensure they start work as quickly as possible and continue to look after their plot on an ongoing basis. Neglected plots cause problems for other allotment holders and deny those on the waiting list a valuable opportunity to hold a plot of their own.